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Happy National Coffee Break Day!

Updated on April 28, 2015

January 20th is National Coffee Break Day!

It's probably something you look forward to every work day - the coffee break.

But I bet you didn't know there's actually a national holiday dedicated to this little work-day gem!

January 20th is National Coffee Break Day. Why not make an event of it? Jazz things up a bit by having your coffee break catered by a local coffee house, ask everyone to bring in a special treat to share during the coffee break or surprise your employees with a coffee gift basket.

Below you'll find the history of the coffee break and more ways to celebrate!

Flickr Photo Credit: bittermelon

Flickr Photo Credit:  michael and anna
Flickr Photo Credit: michael and anna

What exactly is a Coffee Break?

A coffee break is typically a break from your current tasks - a time to step away, clear your head and re-energize.

Coffee breaks usually last from 10 to 20 minutes and frequently occur at the end of the first third of the work shift.

Some companies schedule a formal coffee break at a set time. They may have a "cart" come in at that set time with hot and cold beverages and pastries or snacks. Other companies may have rooms designated for coffee breaks.

Of course drinking coffee isn't required. The term "coffee break" is used for any general work break.

Unique Coffee Mug Gifts from Amazon

Flickr Photo Credit: John McNab
Flickr Photo Credit: John McNab

History of the Coffee Break

The coffee break allegedly originated in the late 19th century in Stoughton, Wisconsin, with the wives of Norwegian immigrants. In 1951, Time noted that "since the war, the coffee break has been written into union contracts".

The term "coffee break" subsequently became popular through a Pan-American Coffee Bureau ad campaign of 1952 which urged consumers, "Give yourself a Coffee-Break - and Get What Coffee Gives to You."

John B. Watson, a behavioral psychologist who worked with Maxwell House later in his career, helped to popularize coffee breaks within the American culture.

Credit: Wikipedia

Celebrate with Cake - a Coffee Cake!

Mini Coffee Cakes Recipe


1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. combine flour, pudding mix, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat until blended. Stir in walnuts. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.


Celebrate with Fun Coffee Favors and Gifts!

Add a little something extra to your coffee break with coffee themed gifts and favors.

A personalized mug is a fun gift for employees and also ensures that your coffee break mugs won't get mixed up!

Coffee Favors are a great way to celebrate National Coffee Day. Choose a fun memento like coffee themed keychains, coffee scoops or even coffee packets with your company logo on them.

Coffee Quiz Results

How did you do on the coffee quiz?

See results

How will you celebrate National Coffee Break Day?

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    • DesignedbyLisa LM profile image

      DesignedbyLisa LM 5 years ago

      Oh no! I missed it by a day. I'll have to remember next year.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 5 years ago

      Love the quiz - even though I pretty much sucked at it! I don't even drink coffee, but that doesn't stop me from taking a "coffee" break or going out for coffee with friends. I just grab a muffin and hot chocolate instead.

    • profile image

      krystikercher 5 years ago

      By drinking my tea! ;-) I'm not a regular coffee drinker, although I do enjoy the very occasional cup of decaf--if someone else is brewing it! But I looooove the smell of coffee, and I really like your lens! Two thumbs up!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      Very cool lens! It definitely inspired me to have a nice cup of coffee this morning :) And of course I'll have to celebrate on national coffee day as well!

    • profile image

      RecordLady 5 years ago

      Love coffee but it seems I have to study up on Great lens.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      By having my usual cup of coffee.... LOL. I love coffee -- glad to hear there is an 'official' day dedicated to the coffee break!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      never did as worse on a quiz before then this, liked the questions must of not been focusing hard enough.